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Prayer easier to grasp than Bible

Madera joined communities all across the country Thursday to celebrate the National Day of Prayer. Madera began the day with the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Hatfield Hall on the Madera Fairgrounds.

Christians subscribe to the Holy Bible as their instruction manual for life. I struggle with the concept, wondering if it should be seen as an infallible guide book or as a powerful historical document. Many use the verse Leviticus 18:22 as a club to express the almighty’s attitude on the subject of homosexually. Further on in Leviticus it says “you shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.”

This would have me believe that the big guy upstairs must lose his mind when we wear a poly-cotton blend. Again I find it hard to fathom that God cares that much about the dress code.

There were other books of scriptures that were not included in what became the authorized King James Version of the Bible. Scholars have read and debated for centuries the validity of the translations. Wikipedia states 47 scholars translated the New Testament from Greek and the Old Testament from Hebrew and Aramaic. Once again my favorite demon demographic, “skinny old white guys,” deciding what is best for the rest of us. In all fairness it could just as easily have been portly old brown men since girth equated prosperity. Hard to know who King James would have trusted with such an important task. They probably didn’t give women scholars a seatat the table. That bothers me a lot.

The author of any document spins its story in a way that conforms to his or her view of the world. I believe the original writers of the good book did this too. How much of the scripture is literal and how much is metaphor?

Did a man named Noah really build a big boat, gather the animals two-by-two and ride out 40 days and 40 nights of a world-wide rainstorm? The Ark was cast adrift for 150 days. Is it metaphor or fact? Did the unicorns miss the launch as suggested in “The Unicorn Song” by the Irish Rovers?

I am a strong believer in the power of prayer. A few years ago I spent weeks in the hospital and almost died. Once I was better my publisher told me I had been the subject of many local prayer circles. Would I have recovered without the prayers of these Maderans? I have no idea. I was sick and not responding to treatment and then I started to get better.

There is a feeling of fellowship that fills the room at the prayer breakfast. Considering what a barn the Hatfield Hall Building is that is a lot of good will.


Recently in England a hand-written copy of the Declaration of Independence tucked in a drawer at a hall of records and labeled the “Sussex Declaration,” was discovered, according to USA Today. The signatures are not in the same order as the one housed in the National Archives. The signature of John Hancock, who allegedly said he wanted the King to be able to read it without his spectacles, is of normal size on the parchment document. A team from Harvard hopes to study it and date it this summer. The working theory is that it is a copy from the 1780s.

This too is a powerful historical document. Who knows when it was generated? Are the signatures genuine or a clever reproduction by a talented calligrapher? The Internet would have us believe there are many copies of this document floating around in private and public collections. Draft versions and edited documents would have been necessary to get the wording just right. And representatives of each of the 13 original colonies would have needed at least one copy to take home to their constituents.

The Declaration of Independence is a quantifiable document that begins the story of how America became the country we live in today. The Holy Bible requires more faith than scholarship.

Have a great weekend.

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